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ACC Lump Sums Open To Abuse

An ACC law change allowing lump sum payments for unproved sex abuse claims will prove disastrous, says National's ACC spokesperson, Gerry Brownlee.

ACC has confirmed that from 1 April, people claiming to have been sexually abused will receive compensation from ACC without any police investigation having taken place.

The issue's been highlighted by a Christchurch law firm, Wakefield Associates, offering to get victims compensation in return for 25 percent of any lump sum awarded.

"It's appalling that ACC will not require substantial proof of sexual abuse claims, other than the word of victims or their counsellors," says Mr Brownlee.

"If ACC's willing to accept claims on just this evidence, the system will be open to all-comers to have a go. Expect to see the return of the gravy train after 1 April.

"There's little wonder that Wakefield Associates is trying to capitalise on this when you get the sort of attitude expressed by ACC's sensitive claims department. With current privacy laws, a person will be able to seek compensation without any solid scrutiny of their claim.

"While there's a place in many rehabilitative circumstances for lump sum payouts, a single monopoly entity like ACC should not allow itself to be open to such abuse," says Mr Brownlee.


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